Flow Research

27 Water Street

Wakefield,  MA  01880

(781) 245-3200

(781) 224-7552 (fax)









Contacts:          Jesse Yoder, Flow Research: (781) 245-3200 (jesse@flowresearch.com)

Nick Limb, Ducker Worldwide: (248) 644-0086; (nickl@ducker.com)



For immediate release


New Worldwide Flowmeter Study Predicts Explosive Growth for Ultrasonic Flowmeters



Wakefield, Massachusetts, July 30, 2001— The ultrasonic flowmeter market will experience explosive growth over the next several years, according to a new market study from Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide (Bloomfield Hills, MI).  Revenues from ultrasonic flowmeters are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 15.3 percent over the next five years, making ultrasonic the fastest-growing flowmeter.


Transit time, Doppler, and hybrid ultrasonic meters are included in the study, entitled The Market for Ultrasonic Flowmeters Worldwide.  The total market size for ultrasonic flowmeters worldwide is $240 million, not including ultrasonic open channel meters.  Ultrasonic flowmeters, which use high frequency sound waves to determine flowrate, send a beam across the flowstream.  Ultrasonic waves travel more quickly with the flow than against it.  The ultrasonic flowmeter measures this difference and uses the value to compute flowrate.


Ultrasonic flowmeters have been growing very rapidly over the past several years, and now they are poised for explosive growth.  Probably the single most important factor in the recent growth of ultrasonic flowmeters has been the explosive growth in the market of multipath ultrasonic meters for custody transfer of natural gas.  The initial surge in growth began in 1996 when an association of European natural gas producers (GERG) approved a document laying out criteria for using these instruments to measure natural gas flow for custody transfer.  Its publication gave a major boost to the sales of multipath ultrasonic flowmeters for natural gas in Europe.


After the publication of the GERG document in Europe, ultrasonic suppliers worked with the American Gas Association (AGA) to obtain approval of a similar document in the United States.  This resulted in the publication of AGA-9 in June 1998.  AGA-9 lays out criteria for buyers and sellers of natural gas to follow when using ultrasonic flowmeters for custody transfer of natural gas.  The publication of AGA-9 resulted in another major increase in the sales of multipath ultrasonic flowmeters for natural gas.  This increase is continuing in 2001.


Part of the reason for the growth in ultrasonic meters is the sheer number of suppliers.  The ultrasonic flowmeter market is highly fragmented with more than fifty suppliers worldwide.  For comparison purposes, there are about 15 suppliers of Coriolis flowmeters worldwide, and about 35 suppliers of magnetic flowmeters.  Many of the ultrasonic flowmeter companies are suppliers of clamp-on meters.  A number of these companies are niche suppliers who sell mainly to a specific geographic region, or into a particular set of applications. 


The number of companies who are getting into the ultrasonic flowmeter market continues to grow.  Since 1995, a number of new companies have entered the market.  These include Siemens, Eastech Badger, FMC Energy Systems, Endress & Hauser, EMCO, Thermo-Electron, and Sick.  Other companies such as Caldon have decided to extend the application of the ultrasonic flowmeters into new industries.  As the ultrasonic flowmeter market continues to grow, it is very likely that more companies will enter this market.  However, supplier consolidation is also a likely prospect.


The Market for Ultrasonic Flowmeters Worldwide is the first in a series of six studies on New Technology flowmeters. Included in the series are worldwide studies on ultrasonic, magnetic, Coriolis, and vortex flowmeters.  The studies are being produced as the result of a partnership between Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide, and are called Worldflow™.  As part of the Worldflow™ series of studies, the two companies combined to produce a survey of 300 flowmeter users in North America, Europe, and Asia.  This user survey is being published separately, but the results were taken into account in doing the forecasting for the ultrasonic and other New Technology flowmeter studies.


Flow Research is a market research company devoted to researching process variables such as flow, temperature, pressure, and level.  In addition to market research, Flow Research is constructing a flowlab for the purpose of researching new ways to measure flow.  The flowlab will also be used to run tests on existing meters.  Ducker Worldwide has 36 years experience researching industrial and business markets, and has offices throughout the world.  Flow Research and Ducker Worldwide have formed a business alliance to produce a series of market research studies focusing on temperature and flow.


- 30 -